The stage is set, and on November 20th, the FIFA World Cup will kick off in Qatar. The world’s biggest tournament is being played in November for the first time, bringing even more unpredictability to an already unpredictable sport – such as injuries. It’s going to be a hard-fought battle in the hot Middle Eastern desert, and although it’s bound to be a strange World Cup, a month of incredible soccer awaits us.
Let’s look at the most exciting group in the tournament – Group G.
Odds to win Group G: Brazil (-320), Switzerland (+500), Serbia (+650), Cameroon (+2300)
Brazil (-320): The main reason why this group is so exciting is because of Brazil. They play the most fluid and entertaining soccer out of every team in Qatar and are the most famous soccer nation in the world. Searching for their sixth World Cup title, Brazil enters this tournament with the best squad they have had since they won 20 years ago. They dominated the qualifiers, going undefeated while scoring 40 goals and only allowing five. Led by Neymar in the best form of his life – there is a reason they are favorites to win it all at +320.
Switzerland (+500): Switzerland are masters when it comes to performing on the big stage. They have reached the knockout stages in each of the last four major international tournaments. Always overlooked, they end up proving everyone wrong, such as knocking out France in Euro 2020 or at the 2006 World Cup, where they did not concede a single goal. The team continues to show defensive prowess, as the Nati only allowed two goals in eight World Cup qualifying matches. Switzerland is the biggest reason Italy did not qualify for the World Cup, as they topped their qualifying group, beating the Azzurri to the automatic spot. Don’t sleep on this team.
Serbia (+650): Considered Switzerland’s biggest competition for second place in Group G, Serbia enter the World Cup in stellar form, losing only one of their past 10 matches. The squad is loaded with young talent and have a heavy influence from Italian soccer, as six of their starting 11 play club football in Serie A. The Eagles will be spearheaded by the goal-scoring machine that is Aleksandar Mitrovic. He scored eight goals in qualifying and has nine goals in 12 premier league matches to start this season. Although they have never made it past the group stages, Serbia has never had this much talent and can definitely wreak havoc on group G.
Cameroon (+2300): Cameroon completes group G, attending an African record eighth edition of the World Cup. Although the Indomitable Lions’ best days are behind them, this side can still score plenty of goals. At the 2021 African Cup of Nations, they scored a tournament-high 14 goals. Led by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Cameroon finished first in their qualifying group, scoring 12 goals and beating out Ivory Coast for the top spot.
Players to watch from Group G:
Gabriel Jesus (BRA)
Vinicius Jr (BRA)
Alisson Becker (BRA)
Granit Xhaka (SUI)
Manuel Akanji (SUI)
Yann Sommer (SUI)
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (SRB)
Aleksandar Mitrovic (SRB)
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (CMR)
Bryan Mbeumo (CMR)
Odds to qualify from Group G: Brazil (-1500), Switzerland (-120), Serbia (+110), Cameroon (+380)
Best Bets for Group G:
Switzerland to Qualify (-120)
Switzerland knows exactly what it takes to get to the next round, and their chemistry will prove vital to them qualifying from group G. Not only have they qualified for four straight rounds of 16s, but this Switzerland team is a much better cohesive unit than both Serbia and Cameroon. All three of these teams will lose to Brazil, so the group becomes a two-game playoff, and that’s where Switzerland’s experience will thrive. Their defense will carry them into the next round and possibly beyond. Switzerland is much better than people expect, and I’m backing them to continue making noise on the big stages.
Neymar to win Golden Ball (+1100)
Neymar is in one of the best forms of his career and is arguably the best player in the world right now. For PSG this season, he has had 20 goal involvements in just 14 matches. For Brazil, throughout their qualifying stage, he had 16 goal involvements in just eight matches. This guy is on fire, and I am backing him to continue that in Qatar. He can overtake Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer if he gets just three goals at the World Cup, and you can bet he will get it done. If Brazil goes as far as expected, Neymar will be the catalyst to their success and a favorite for the Golden Ball.
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